Diet of royal and rockhopper penguins at macquarie island

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Abstract

The diet of Royal Eudyptes schlegeli and Rockhopper E. chrysocome Penguins, studied during the 1981/82 breeding season on Macquarie Island, is described. Quantitative analysis was performed on 29 stomach samples from Royal Penguins at Bauer Bay (west coast) and 21 samples from Sandy Bay (east coast). Samples were also obtained from 19 Rockhopper Penguins at Garden Cove (east coast). Principal dietary components were Euphausiids: Euphausia vallentini and Thysanoessa gregaria; Amphipods: Primno macropa and Parathemisto gaudichaudr, fish and squid, which were in general unidentifiable. Results of dietary analysis are presented as percent frequency of occurrence, and as percent frequency composition by weight. Considerable differences in dietary composition between the two coasts were observed with fewer euphausiids (45% 1/95%) and more amphipods (86% c/38%) being taken on the west coast than on the east. Length of time that the parent was away from the chick and the fact that, with only minor exceptions, all dietary species were pelagic indicate that these penguins may feed at a considerable distance from the island.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalEmu
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985

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